|First Whimbrel of Spring!|
Back to the UK and a couple of visits to Brandon Marsh over the past week and a banishment from aboard the boat this morning due to a certain wedding, which paid dividends with a Whimbrel in the adjacent field, plus a gorgeous ♂ Wheatear on the phone wires. Also around today were Raven, Buzzard, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Skylark and a good movement of Swallow. Worth a mention were a ♀♂ Tufted Duck who came to visit our resident tame Tufty, it's always sad to see when the other birds depart and poor Tufty with his duff wing is unable!
Brandon as you would imagine is awash with Warblers and with the recent influx of Grasshopper Warbler a prime target for photographers, we have the usual minority of idiots ploughing through nesting areas in search of a shot! New Hare Covert is covered in a beautiful carpet of Bluebells, which is in fact around 2 weeks early and Primrose and Ladies Smock abound! With the colder weather now upon us a lull in Butterfly numbers, but I did manage my first Damselfly of the year with a ♂ Banded Demoiselle on the River Meadow.
I arrived early on Thursday to Brandon and was certainly glad that I had the good sense to be wearing my thermals. With a bitter easterly wind the Big Hide resembled an icebox, but the birding wasn’t too bad with two lovely summer plumage Dunlin and a cameo visit from two Shelduck. The long staying Ruff appears to be at home on East Marsh Pool and another count of seven Little Ringed Plover, who really need to get down to the business of nesting! The wildfowl numbers still continue to decline as we approach the summer but still a reasonable number of Teal, plus two ♂ Shoveler and four ♂ Gadwall. As I left the reserve at around 10.30am a Red Kite was soaring over towards the West Marsh area, but despite passing the sighting on to the guys still on the reserve, it wasn’t seen again.